Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez was happy with his team’s performance in the 2-1 win over Juventus and is confident his side can finish the job off in Turin.
“We had a very good first half. They were better in the second period and it was difficult for us,” said Benitez.
“We won against a really great side, but I accept that we must score in the second leg in Turin next Wednesday.
“But if we win or draw we are through and do not forget that we have played very well against a great team.”
Liverpool strolled to a 2-0 lead midway through the first half, leaving Juve looking a bewildered, disoriented outfit in the process.
“For me it means we can beat all the other teams in the tournament, but we must be confident to go out and play like that all the time and for a full 90 minutes,” added Benitez.
“I am happy with the first-half performance and with the two goals that we got.”
Benitez refused to point the finger at inex[perienced goalkeeper Scott Carson, who was making his Champions League debut.
“I do not blame the keeper,” added Benitez. “We were not ready for the corner and we reacted too late.
“The ball bounced right in front of the ‘keeper and it was very difficult for him. He was in a good position but the bounce deceived him.”
Juve coach Fabio Capello admitted that he was happy with the result, particularly after his side’s poor start.
“We didn’t play for the opening 30 minutes and I didn’t like that at all,” he told Italy’s Sky TV.
“We gifted them two goals and there really was only one team on the pitch.
“We weren’t aggressive enough and we didn’t close them down. It’s obvious that if you give your opponents space they are going to take advantage of it.
“I liked the way we responded though in the second half. At 2-0 down we showed great desire to get back on level terms but we didn’t have much luck with our finishing.
“Given the way things were after the first half, it is a good result for us,” added Capello, “It is hard to get back into a game after a start like that.
“It was a difficult game, we hadn’t played for a while and our approach was wrong.”
Gianluca Zambrotta also criticised Juve’s slow start.
“We didn’t come out at the start determined enough. They wanted it more early on,” said the left back.
“Capello was very angry with us at the interval but we knew it ourselves. We knew that we couldn’t play the way we did in the first half.
“The away goal was absolutely vital for us. We were also a bit unlucky — we had a good goal disallowed and they scored with a long-range effort.”
“And now I have faith in my team and trust them to win the second leg and go through into the semi-finals.”